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Health workers suspend strike, accuse FG of blackmail

The Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) and the Assembly of Healthcare Professional Associations (AHPA) have suspended their seven days warning strike. It, however, directed their members to resume work today.

 

This came as the aggrieved unions accused the Federal Government of blackmail, bias and discrimination by failing to meet its demand within the last seven days, as was the case with sister unions whose demands were met before the duration of their seven days strike elapsed.

 

The health workers had embarked on a seven-day warning strike on September 13, but declared illegal by the Federal Government following ongoing negotiations with the aggrieved workers. A statement signed by the National President of JOHESU, Comrade Biobelemoye Josiah, and made available to newsmen yesterday in Abuja, said the expanded National Executive Council (NEC) of the unions would convey the next line of action soonest.

 

It reads: “This is to bring to your notice that the 7-day nationwide warning strike embarked upon by the members of the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) would  ome to an end midnight of today, 20th September, 2020.

“By this notice, all health workers under the five unions that make up Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) and Assembly of Healthcare Professional Associations (AHPA) shall return to work on Monday, 21st September, 2020 across all Federal Health Institutions in the country.

 

“However, since the Federdl Government through the Federal Ministry of Health has continued to exhibit high level of bias/discrimination by refusing to address the demands of our members as presented by JOHESU within the seven days of the warning strike as was done to other bodies in the heaith sector, the next line of action would be decided in due course by the expanded National Executive Council of JOHESU.

 

“It is pertinent to also inform members of the press and the general public that rather than call JOHESU for dialogue to resolve the trade dispute, the Federal Government has resorted to intimidation and blackmail of JOHESU leaders using all forms of instruments and faceless organisations.

 

“JOHESU will continue to use all legitimate means to defend the rights and demands for the welfare cf its members in the health sector. Nigerians should bear us witness that JOHESU has shown high patriotism by demanding that public health system in Nigeria is sustained and adequately financed for effective, efficient and affordable healthcare service delivery.

 

“In view of the above and in line with the resolution of the expanded NEC meeting held physically and virtually today, Sunday, 20 September, 2020, I hereby declare that the seven days, warning strike is suspended.”

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